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Great expectations

King Elephant: two songs, one big deal



King Elephant is kind of a big deal. At shows, I've watched as young folks file forward to get close to the band—close enough to be spat upon by guitarist/vocalist Joey Running Crane, who spasms and convulses in a vain effort to make the microphone stand join him for a dance. There are other clues that King Elephant is headed for a semblance of success: People make documentaries about the band (such as Tim Goessman's We're Going Home, now on YouTube), multiple photographers zip around while the guys perform, phones are held aloft by the crowd to document the fray and, most importantly, there are as many gals as dudes in attendance.

Missoula Independent news
  • Kentaro Murai
  • King Elephant

The toughest part of being "kind of a big deal" is that expectations are raised. The quartet's latest two-song release on Bandcamp, which comes on the heels of a 7-inch split with Shitty Weekend, meets those expectations. "Dat Mean I Luv U More Den 4evr" opens with the tattoo of snare drum and big victory song chords, but quickly turns angsty as Running Crane repeats the refrain, "You don't have to do this alone." At the song's halfway point, the band employs a thing I'm calling the "opposites protocol" and switches the pronoun from "you" to "I." Classic Rock Move 101. Bassist/vocalist Ryan Bilunka leads off "Can We Start a Riot at the Circus" with his signature lacerated vocals. But the song is made accessible by the hooky-as-heck chorus and Ethan Uhl's octavator rhythm guitar work. There might only be two songs here, but that's plenty to kick off a dance.

Wooden Indian Burial Ground, King Elephant, One F, Copilot Eyedrops and Confidence Man play the VFW Fri., May 10, at 9:30 PM. $5.

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